A Roscón de Reyes is a traditional Spanish brioche-like sweet bread eaten the night before or morning of Reyes or King’s Day (6th January) which celebrates Epiphany when the Three Kings came to visit the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. Tradition has the Roscón served, garnished with the ‘jewels’ of dried fruit and nuts. King’s Day also happens to be the day that Spanish children open their Christmas presents. A bit like the tradition in the UK of hiding a silver coin in the Christmas pudding, it is customary to hide either a porcelain figure of one of the Three Kings, or the baby Jesus in the cake mix. Whoever then finds it has to make the cake the following year!Print
Roscón de Reyes
- Prep Time: 50 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Cuisine: Desserts
- 450g strong wheat flour + 50g to reserve
- 16g of fast acting yeast
- 10g granulated sugar
- 80g caster sugar
- 100g icing sugar
- 70g melted butter
- zest of 1 lemon
- zest of 1 orange
- 20ml orange juice
- 3 free range eggs
- 70ml of milk (room temperature)
- 200ml whipping cream
- 100g dried cranberries
- 50g cream cheese
- 30g flaked almonds
- olive oil (for greasing)
- First you need to make your sponge. In a mixing bowl, put 50g flour, your granulated sugar, the yeast and 30ml of milk. Mix together well, using a wooden spoon. Cover with cling film or a clean tea towel and leave to ferment at room temperature for one hour.
- Next prepare the rest of the dough. In a bowl, lightly beat your eggs together and then add the lemon and orange zest, melted butter, orange juice and the remainder of the milk (40ml).
- Then add the caster sugar along with your sponge and 400g flour. You can use a food processor to make the dough – just set it for 15min – or you can knead it by hand.
- Your dough should be elastic, smooth and shiny as well as a bit sticky. Have your 50g of additional flour to hand in case you need to add more to help with the consistency
- Grease a large bowl with some olive oil and then form your dough into a ball and place inside. Cover with a tea towel or oiled cling film and leave it to rise. You can now do one of two things. Leave it in a warm place until it doubles in size (about 2 hours depending on the room temperature). Or if you want to leave the rest of the cake making until the following day you can put it in the fridge overnight. Just be sure to remove the dough from the fridge at least 2 hours before you want to work with it so that it can come back to room temperature.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, knock it back and then place it on a floured work surface or chopping board. Depending on the size of your oven, if you have a small one, it might be worth splitting your dough into two at this stage and making two smaller roscóns as opposed to one big one.
- Now, cut your dough into between 12-16 pieces if you are doing one, or 6-8 pieces if you are doing two. Roll each piece into a small ball. The number of pieces will depend on the size of your cake tin. For example, for a 20 cm diameter cake pan, we used 6 dough balls.
- Place your dough balls around the side of your cake tin, forming a ring with a hole in the middle, whilst ensuring that you leave some space between each of them to allow them to rise (about 2 cm). Make sure your hole in the centre is big enough or it will close up during rising and baking.
- Cover your cake tin with a damp cloth and put to one side until the dough rounds have doubled their size (approximately 2 hours).
- Preheat your oven to 180C.
- Place your cake in your preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on it though as it can continue to rise in the oven.
- Remove and set your roscón to one side to cool. Whilst you’re waiting for it to cool you can prepare the filling and the topping.
- For the filling, first chop 50g of your cranberries. Then beat the cream until it thickens and holds shape and add 50g icing sugar together with the chopped cranberries. For the topping, mix together the cream cheese and remaining icing sugar until smooth.
- When your roscón is cool, remove from the cake tin and cut it horizontally through the middle so that you have two halves. Add your filling to one of your halves, evenly around the ring, and then reassemble the two halves. Top with your cream cheese mixture, flaked almonds and dried cranberries.